Compliance with forklift trucks is a necessity. Without compliance, accidents would skyrocket. Your organization might think you have everything covered, but do you?
Many organizations don’t meet all the compliance requirements and suffer severe violations. Learn the most common mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.
5 Compliance Areas To Improve In Your Organization
There are five common compliance mistakes that companies make when they use forklifts. Read on to find out what you can do to improve your compliance.
Carry Out Regular Forklift Maintenance
The first area to check is forklift maintenance. Your company needs to regularly maintain the forklifts to ensure they are safe and in the best operating condition. It will also help you stay compliant with the regulators’ requirements.
You can address two main maintenance areas and keep your forklift maintenance levels high.
Conduct Regular Inspections
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), companies should inspect forklifts daily or after a shift. This requirement ensures all parts are in working order.
Keep Track of Maintenance and Repair Records
Preventive maintenance can help to keep forklifts in top working condition. The best way to do this is to create a forklift maintenance program. The program should include a checklist and schedule for daily, monthly, and annual maintenance.
The program will ensure your company keeps the following:
- Accurate repair records
- An organized maintenance program that people can follow
- A commitment to health and safety overall
- Detailed information to demonstrate compliance
Put Necessary Safety Protocols In Place
The next area to check in your organization is your safety protocols. Dealing with any heavy equipment can potentially lead to life-threatening accidents. Organizations must have clear safety protocols in place to keep their workplace safe.
Forklift operators and other employees can be at risk from different hazards. These hazards could range from a collision, fall, or tip-over. You can use this OSHA quick card as a reference point for safe forklift operation.
You can follow the guidance on this card to minimize the risk in your workplace. It can help you check and see if you have all the necessary safety protocols. If you still need to, you can make a plan and start putting them in place as soon as possible.
Follow The Procedures for Handling Hazardous Materials
Another point worth noting is that there are different procedures for handling hazardous materials. For example, companies must have a written hazard communication program, and you need to label containers.
Create Emergency Procedures in Case of an Accident
Don’t also forget to check your emergency procedures. If you don’t handle an accident correctly, it could escalate into something more serious. Take a proactive stance and implement emergency procedures to help contain accidents.
Always Use The Best Forklift Training
Forklift operator training is a priority when it comes to compliance. According to law, operators must have the proper training to use forklifts safely. It protects not only your company but the forklift operators and other employees.
The Connection Between Compliance and Training
Using the best training cannot be underestimated when it comes to compliance. The old traditional approaches of training do provide necessary training. However, there are now more advanced ways to train forklift operators.
Companies can now use more advanced technology to track driver behavior more objectively. This information can assist companies in creating more detailed analyses and reports. Your company can then use the data to justify compliance at all levels.
The Distinct Advantage of Virtual Training
Virtual training is a more modern approach to meeting your compliance obligations. Forklift Simulator, the inventor of the world’s first virtual reality forklift simulator, provides such training. The company is already helping to set industry standards.
Companies find virtual training more enjoyable and engaging for trainers and operators. It’s a more flexible approach to forklift training, as companies can use a customizable solution. One that betters fits their needs.
Virtual training is also raising the bar when it comes to training. Gamification makes the activity more exciting and helps build operators’ confidence. Results show that operator skills increase quickly due to their higher interest levels.
Labeling and Marking To Prevent Accidents
Dangerous vehicles, such as forklifts, and the areas in which they operate, should always be labeled and marked. OSHA has many labels you need to use to adhere to safety compliance rules. These markings are imperative in preventing accidents.
Here are some examples of signs and labels that you need to use:
- Floor markings can be an effective visual tool to show a forklift is operating in an area. You can use hazard tape and also glow-in-the-dark options.
- You can also use safety labels in different situations. For example, you can use one to remind drivers to use their seat belts.
- Safety signs, such as the high forklift traffic sign, helps warns employees there are forklifts in the area.
You can also look further into this area and ensure you comply with all the labels and markings you need for your specific industry.
Follow The Correct Handling And Stacking Procedures
Finally, following the proper load handling and stacking requirements for forklifts is essential. It can ensure the safety and stability of the load on the forklift truck. It also gives protection to the operator and anybody else in the area.
A forklift operator should always:
- Approach the load straight on
- Insert and position the forks until the pallet/item till it is 100% on the forks
- Ensure not to damage other goods nearby
- Drive under the load until it touches the carriage
- Tilt the forks back to ensure the load is more stable
When it comes to stacking, there are different stacking heights, low level, eye level, and high level. All forklift operators need training on how to deal with the different heights. Likewise, they need detailed training on how to stack and destack correctly.
Avoiding Compliance Mistakes With Forklifts
Following the five areas above can raise compliance levels across your organization. You might already have a handle on some of these areas. However, there is always room for improvement when it comes to compliance.
Remember, not following forklift regulations can lead to severe consequences. OSHA has fines that can reach up to $130,000 per offense.
Maintenance and safety protocols are essential to keep your workplace safe. Handling and stacking procedures are also there for a reason. Plus, using the correct labeling and marking for forklifts can create a more secure environment.
New rules and regulations will keep coming. Staying on top of them is critical, whatever your industry. A customizable approach, such as virtual forklift training, is ideal. It also helps create a more standardized system for compliance.
Following compliance obligations and regulations is a priority when using forklifts. Find out what you need to check in your workplace to ensure compliance. Use this information to boost your compliance levels and avoid compliance violations.
The following article in this series will go into more detail about the connection between forklift safety and compliance and the benefits of virtual training.